Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It should be obvious by now that I no longer post here. Once I finally broke down and created a Facebook account a year and a half ago, I've only posted there.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

So it's been nearly 6 months for an update this time. Sigh. Let's see - both Merrie and I are a year older now.

The boys did pretty well in their various schools. Sydney moves up to middle school and Stephan will be a senior. Samuel moves on to 3 year old preschool class if he gets potty trained in the next month. He apparently likes to "read" books now though.

Stephan just turned 19. He's been working at the White Violet Center for Eco-justice at St. Mary's again this summer, dealing with pretty much everything in their garden or caring for alpacas.

Sydney and I did an overnight backpack trip the end of May to test out some new equipment I'd bought or made in hopes of future trips. He had his first Boy Scout camp and completed 2 merit badges and many of his requirements for the first 3 ranks despite having a badly twisted ankle that prevented him from walking for a week prior. He even won the Golden K award for the first aid area for his standout attitude. 4 days after we returned we went whitewater rafting in southern KY. That was his first time and mine in 25 years. They earned a merit badge for that as well.

Our whole family decided to attend Soulfeast again despite the economics, and it was a great time had by all at Lake Junaluska, NC. We got there a little late since my grandparents celebrated 70 years together (about a month early) in northern OH the day it started. It was good to see many of my cousins again, too. After Soulfeast, I embarked on my first major backpacking trip, spanning 11 days in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I'm looking forward to more trips and hoping Sydney will join me on some.

No, the remodeling isn't done yet. :p I do have all the drywall up in the foyer and stairwell so I can now mud that and then work on finishing that part and the upstairs. It will have taken more than a year by the time I get this portion finished though. :(

Sunday, February 01, 2009

OK, so it's been almost 5 MONTHS since I last wrote. I guess you can say life's been busy, but things are going pretty well for the most part. So let's see...

Sydney is now 11, played basketball at the Boys & Girls Club again this fall, and is at least keeping his grades at an almost decent level right now. He's still a big LEGO and Star Wars freak and spent $150 of his saved money for large Star Wars LEGO sets. He won his Pack's Pinewood Derby this year, after not racing at all last year and having to twist his arm to do it this time on his last chance as a Cub Scout. That's right, our boy is now going over into Boy Scouts and dad is excited. The Arrow of Light ceremony is Feb 9.

Stephan was co-student director of the fall school play and will be student director for the spring one, Into the Woods. He is still keeping himself above a 3.0 GPA, too. He's looking to start school at Ivy Tech next year and then transfer for a filmmaking degree of some type. He constantly changes his hair style/color so you never know what to expect when you see him - he looks somewhat normal in this pic.

Samuel is still a terror - likely more so than 5 months ago. We can't keep ahead of him. He really does know his manners and is fun to play with though and is a joy to be around most of the time. He loves to help us work around the house and check on Pastor Tim working upstairs. He likes to see and talk with my parents on Skype, and is somewhat confused when they are able to be here in person. We had one of the largest snows on record recently, and he had a blast sledding down what hills we have here. He also moved into a real bed a couple weeks ago - it's a small race car.

Merrie and I still work though my business has obviously been fairly slow for the most part. The upstairs remodeling is STILL not done (typical for my home improvement projects), but we're getting close! Here is what will be our new bedroom where the bathroom used to be.

Unfortunately, we'll have to slow way down once the upstairs is done since I haven't been bringing in much money, but I still hope to have the downstairs mostly done by year end.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sam started preschool last week and seems to be taking to it pretty well. He's also starting to speak some new words as if he needs any help "talking". He's not been anything like his father as a small child in that regard.

I spent Labor Day weekend in prison, sharing Jesus with a group of residents through Kairos Prison Ministry, and it was awesome to see God move so powerfully in the lives of ALL men present. This was the first event at this facility and I plan to work many more.

While I was behind bars, Merrie and the boys were camping for the first time in many years (1st ever for Sam) and reconnecting with old friends. They all seemed to have an enjoyable time.

We've also started remodeling our house. The entire second floor is gutted right now. Since we're moving the bathroom, I'm trying to figure out how to get the drains and vents in a convenient location while still passing code.

I heard Alistair Begg say these words Sunday and since they stuck with me for some reason I thought I should share: For the grace of God reveals one who loves us so much so as to make Calvary possible and to hate sin so much so as to make Calvary necessary.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Samuel has made it to 2 years old today. We had a family party on Saturday that turned out quite well considering his parents' busy schedules recently. Today however he got the promised haircut everyone has been pestering me about. He did quite well with the razor and doesn't seem to miss his hair.

Then we took him outside to show him his real present some friends had given us a year and a half ago when they moved.

It looks like he may get some competition from Merrie to use it though.

And how many kids can say they had a birthday peanut butter sandwich on a hotdog bun?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We hit another milestone today as Stephan turned 18. There were 15 family and friends that helped him celebrate at Gerhardt's Bierstube, the local German restaurant.

His German teacher was able to alter her schedule so she could wait on us. She was the one who led his trip to Greece as well.

We even did the traditional German birthday cheer, which involves lifting him in the chair three times.

I suppose our next milestone will be at 21 since it's 7+ years for Sydney to hit 18.

Meanwhile Samuel has 2 weeks to go before he reaches 2 and is on the verge of being able to climb onto the kitchen counters. God help us!
Soulfeast 2008 at Lake Junaluska, NC, turned out to be a blessed time once again. It was good to get back after missing the past two because of Samuel, who still made it a challenge at times, and we were blessed to have both sets of parents/grandparents join us this year. Again we drove down on Saturday and spent the night at my parents house near Burnsville, NC, before driving the hour and a half to LJ to register Sunday afternoon.

They had a good mix of plenary speakers and workshops so even our fathers found something that interested them. I believe it was the first conference of this type either had experienced. There were really too many choices so at least for the rest of us we had to miss out on some things we would have liked to have seen.

I'll admit my recent "obsession" with photography, especially time-lapse and waterfalls, caused me to not be as focused as I should have been perhaps, but as it turned out they had a workshop on Spirituality & Photography, too. :) I discovered 2 weeks ago that many Canon Powershot cameras with Digic II or III processors can be made much more powerful with some added firmware called CHDK. The best part is that it's temporary so you don't have to use it if you don't want. It's simply loaded on the SD card.

Anyway, I uploaded 28 pics and 2 time-lapse videos from this trip to my photo album. Here is one of my family.

We're already looking forward to next year, which will feature an excellent speaker that we enjoyed previously. Hopefully our parents will want to go again.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gatlinburg traffic was every bit as bad as I had heard, but I still had an enjoyable time on my first trip to the area with much of Merrie's family the week of July 4th. We went to Ober Gatlinburg the first day and I quite enjoyed the "alpine slide", which is essentially a luge on concrete rather than ice.

We saw some wildlife, and a raccoon stopped to check it out also.

The weather was pretty nice the whole week, with just a little rain the day we left. I was able to hike several times and even managed to see a few bears. My brother-in-law and I did the Chimney Tops climb - that was awesome (and somewhat unnerving) at the very top. We had sort of a worship service at the top as a youth group from Marion, IN, was also there.

I learned that I really have a thing for taking waterfall and stream pictures. I suppose it's partly because they look cool, but I love the soothing sound of running/rushing water. It sort of turned into an obsession as my last two excursions were only to see waterfalls. This is Grotto Falls, which I reached when the rain started to fall.

I also watched the fireworks over Gatlinburg and my pics turned out fairly well for not having a tripod. Most exposures were 1.3 or 1.6 seconds.

You can find a few other pics at my photo album. All in all, it was a good vacation though Merrie's mom was ill most of the time. I have no interest in all the touristy trappings (or the crowds or traffic) outside the Alpine Slide, but will certainly go back for more hiking someday.